51bits is named after Area 51, a place of mystery and experimentation in the middle of nowhere. It has served as my home on the web for 18 years, as a manifestation of my learning, as well as my approach to—and opinions on—design and code.


The theme is applied via the Appearance preference in your operating system.


Most interactive controls are tinted, with the preference saved in Local Storage.


A dozen swatches—including the background—comprise the entire palette. These are inspired by the system colours of iOS and macOS, and change slightly based on Appearance.


Graphics are a powerful way to communicate a concept, often capable of transcending language barriers. I take pride in crafting them bespoke, paying close attention to line thickness, visual weight, corner radii, and pixel-snapped points.


My opinion regarding copy in software is to ruthlessly prioritise function over form. Custom fonts almost always impact performance, introduce CLS, and often reduce legibility. Inheriting the font of the OS avoids these pitfalls, improves accessibility, and allows the product to sit organically at the intersection of its brand and that of the surrounding platform.

  • Accessibility

    There isn't a single good argument for excluding anyone from using software.
  • Releases

    Websites are software too. Frequent updates are the way to keep a product alive.
  • Author

    I've being doing this for a long time, and have formed some opinions along the way.